You Won't Freeze This Winter At This Beautiful And Calming Coastal Town In The South

Travelers looking for a vast and diverse vacation destination to enjoy when winter rolls around have a good chance of finding exactly what they want in Texas. Home to forests and hill country, mountains, and plains, you can get your fill of just about every landscape and view when you head this way. However, when longing for a warm getaway focused on the coast, you can leave all your thoughts of snow, ice, and cold far behind when you make it a point to spend quality time in Port Isabel.

This gem of a getaway destination in Texas offers visitors a relaxed vibe along with waterfront Gulf of Mexico views. The laid-back town is home to just over 5,200 residents, according to the most recent count at Data USA. It's a number that gives visitors peace of mind when booking a trip where contending with crowds in the wintertime isn't an issue. Packing a winter coat is something else you won't have to worry about when traveling to Port Isabel. Instead, you can feel free to keep your suitcase light because even in the middle of December, Port Isabel enjoys daily highs in the mid-70s degrees Fahrenheit. Evening temperatures linger around the mid-50s degrees Fahrenheit, making it a wonderful place to visit whether you're looking to beach hop or comfortably stargaze in Texas year-round.

Discover lighthouses, beaches, and on-the-water fun

Just under 23 miles from Brownsville in Southern Texas, Port Isabel hosts very few tourist traps and offers a rich landscape of leisurely fun and history waiting to be discovered. When your winter travel plans bring you this way, you'll have an opportunity to get up close to the town's most iconic structure, which is the easy-to-spot Port Isabel Lighthouse. This State Historic Site is open for tours daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Once you climb the 75 steps up to the observation deck, you'll be treated to stunning panoramic views as well as an opportunity to see the 3rd Order Fresnel Lens that's in place for you. With roots dating back to 1851, this lighthouse has long been an important beacon in the area and is a historic stop you won't want to miss.

If you're a sun seeker excited to spend as much time as possible on the sand, Port Isabel has options for you this winter. Enjoy relaxing on beautiful stretches of shoreline or make the most of snorkeling in the inviting and warm waters you'll find upon arrival. When it's time to get out on the water and explore further, the local team at Dolphin Docks is happy to help you book your place on a dolphin-watching cruise. They also offer custom bay fishing trips, sunset cruises, and tours focused on marine ecology, depending on your preference.

Enjoy museums, eateries, and flea markets

Once you're back on land, you can enjoy a calm afternoon exploring the Port Isabel Historic Museum at your preferred pace. Admission is just $5 for adults and $3 for children to come in and learn more about Port Isabel's heritage, natural history, maritime culture, and inspiring arts. When browsing all those exhibits and displays leaves you with an appetite to attend to, you can savor the moment in Port Isabel style by heading to Lighthouse Square. 

This area near the lighthouse is where you'll find a hub of restaurants featuring fresh-caught fare that can be enjoyed right by the water. Los Tortugo's Seafood Market is a family-friendly eatery in this location that doubles as a market and restaurant. It's an ideal stop for curbing cravings for fish, shrimp, and oysters, with options to purchase your favorite selections on your way out.

If shopping tops your list of fun activities when you head to Port Isabel this winter, be sure to add the local Antique and Flea Market to your itinerary. It's held the first Sunday of every month except in December at Beulah Lee Park from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The market is a great place to shop local handcrafted goods, plants, collectibles, apparel, art, antiques, home goods, upcycled items, and more. You're free to linger as long as you'd like, and there's never any cost to attend.